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MIGRATION & IMMIGRATION


An essential value of the American lifestyle is the freedom of mobility. The Census asks respondents to identify if they lived in the same residence 5 years prior to the survey. If not, they are asked the location of their previous residence. Between 1995 and 2000, only 54.13 percent of Americans remained in the same house. This rate has been fairly steady: between 1985 and 1990, 53.29 percent remained in the same house.

Regionally, the rates differ greatly. Nevada’s population was the most mobile. About 62.6 percent of Nevada residents in 2000 lived in a different house in 1995. Of the Nevadans living in different houses, 40.2 percent were new arrivals to the state. On the other hand, Pennsylvania’s population was the most permanent. Only 36.5 percent of Pennsylvanians in 2000 lived in a different house in 1995. Of these people, only 15.8 percent were new arrivals to Pennsylvania.


Migration, 2000: Residence 5 Years Prior to Census
Residence in 1995 Number Percent
Same house 6,558,427 56.80%
Different house 4,989,078 43.20%
Same county 3,010,802 26.07%
Different county 1,624,445 14.07%
Same state 959,323 8.31%
Different State 665,122 5.76%
Elsewhere in 1995* 353,831 3.06%
Total Population Age 5+ 11,547,505 100.00%

Migration, 1990: Residence 5 Years Prior to Census
Residence in 1985 Number Percent
Same house 5,892,150 55.66%
Different house 4,693,688 44.34%
Same county 2,980,108 28.15%
Different county 1,510,796 14.27%
Same state 843,018 7.96%
Different State 667,778 6.31%
Elsewhere in 1985* 202,784 1.92%
Total Population Age 5+ 10,585,838 100.00%

* "Elsewhere" includes those living in U.S. Island Areas, in foreign countries, and at sea.

Source: Census 2000 analyzed by the Social Science Data Analysis Network (SSDAN).

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